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Manzanita's Mishmash of Oregon Coast Thrills, Dark History, Maybe Shooting Stars

Published 10/09/21 at 5:46 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Manzanita's Mishmash of Oregon Coast Thrills, Dark History, Maybe Shooting Stars

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(Manzanita, Oregon) - This tiny town on the north Oregon coast is an engaging one, with loads of discoveries lurking in its various corners. Ancient legends of crashed sailing ships and rumors of hidden treasure blend with thick, murky forested landscapes, a somewhat hip, almost urban vibe and a backwoodsy sense of sorts, making this burgh a place you don't want to leave. Soaring viewpoints with expansive vistas and hiking in wild places give way to a flat stretch of beach that's instantly relaxing. Quirky aesthetics mix with moments of culinary exquisiteness and even upscale elements dotted throughout the more downhome aspects.

Manzanita is quite the mishmash, all packed into a small piece of Oregon coast.

Hit the beach to find yourself beneath the awe-inspiring gaze of Neahkahnie Mountain, and explore miles and miles of pristine sand that end up at the extraordinary wildlife watching opportunities of the Nehalem Bay Spit.

These sands are nothing short of inviting. They dead-end at the foot of the ancient mountain, where large, sea-polished stones and rubble create an aggressively difficult area to walk, but sometimes fascinating sights erupt just above you, such as one rock structure that some say looks like an Indian maiden.

Right around the corner (not some place you can get to), a ship called the Glennesslin wrecked here over 100 years ago. Some locals claim you can still see some ragged remnants of it if you look down at the rubbly tract, although Oregon Coast Beach Connection has not been able to spot these.

The other end of the beach extends miles down the way at the end of the Nehalem Bay Spit. The bay itself is a whole other universe of watery recreation.

Or take a hike: up the 1600-foot Neahkahnie Mountain, that is. Unforgettable views explode along the way, but the dramatic climax is truly the top where you're sometimes above the clouds.

Oregon coast history gets wackier and murkier upon this mountain, which is purportedly where some ancient ship buried treasure. Sometime in the 1700s, a vessel wrecked here and the crew tucked away a treasure chest in these hills. One version has them burying a black slave inside to ward off local tribes from digging it up. [Five Funky Facts About Oregon Coast Shipwrecks You Didn't Know ]


For the less strenuous approach, simply park your rig at the Neahkahnie Overlooks above Manzanita for a view to just-about-forever. On clearer days you can see all the way to Oceanside, some 40 miles south of here, not to mention puzzling side views of Rockaway Beach's Twin Rocks.


Daytime and sunsets are unforgettable here, of course. However, nighttime viewing can yield some astounding moments. There's nothing like being privy to star action above the dark waters and listening to the faint murmur of the waves from up here. However, this spot is known by many to simply be lucky for spotting shooting stars, even if there are no meteor showers in the astronomical menu.

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